David reviews “The Sword of the Stranger” (PG-13)

Hi Susie,

I saw the anime movie “The Sword of the Stranger” Thursday and the theater messed up enough that I was upset for awhile. Now, the plot, the good, the bad.

Japan’s Warring States Period.  No country, just different Lords fighting.  A team of Chinese are paying for a special temple to be built by a lord in order to perform a ceremony for the Chinese Emperor.  This involves a specific boy to be sacrificed at a specific time.  The lord’s troops help the Chinese look for him.

The boy and his dog are living in an abandoned temple when the stranger arrives on his own way.  When the lord’s troops and one of the Chinese arrive the stranger is forced to fight defending the boy.  Without drawing his sword, he has it so he can’t pull it out.

Hide and seek and political machinations ensue.  It feels much the same as Clint Eastwood’s Stranger movies. I like how none of the characters behave strangely.  Once you know them they act the way you expect them to. All the different groups of bad guys are not flat characters.  There are some who do not seem all that bad.

The animation quality is not quite as high as I expect for a movie.  Better than most TV shows, but not the best I’ve ever seen.

Technically, unrated it was described as PG-13.  That is arguable.  The fights are of the fountains-of-blood variety.  The action is quick, but you can still follow that there are heads a-flying.

If you have not given up on shaping your teen this can be a fun action movie experience.  I saw at least one father-son duo bond. That blond-haired blue-eyed Chinese guy, we should not be rooting for the bad guy, but…

It is out of the theaters now, but should be on DVD from Bandai Entertainment soon.

Take care,

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